Anya Tish Gallery is
thrilled to present FREEZE!, a
two-person exhibition featuring paintings and drawings by Shannon Cannings and
soft sculptures by Corey Pickett.
Through the lens of their own race and gender, both artists question the role
of guns in our society in order to appeal for the re-evaluation of current gun
By looking past the veneer
of consumerism, which has distorted and glorified the meaning of ‘gunplay’,
Shannon Cannings’ oil paintings explore how toy guns normalize gun culture and
create a tolerance for violent language and behavior from childhood. Using the candy-colored and eye-catching
visuals of advertising, Cannings’ work draws
attention to the juxtaposition of gun violence and the allegedly harmless
children’s toy. Each painting is meticulously executed to spotlight the shiny,
colored plastic of the gun and its glossy, light reflecting packaging to create
an almost irresistible product. Cannings’ works are the product of a mother’s
meditation on the convoluted messages of advertising and a response to the
controversy surrounding gun control.
In place of gunmetal and
steel, Corey Pickett’s immense gun sculptures are stuffed with foam and
upholstered in a mélange of versicolor patterns. Pickett draws inspiration from his research of the middle
passage and uses Victorian and Dutch textiles to visually reference the past
conditions of African-Americans. The artist states
“Initially these objects were in response to gun violence towards
African-Americans; however, my work has expanded to gun violence against all
humans”. Pickett’s ebullient soft sculptures transpose the issue of gun
violence to create a comfortable and secure environment in which to contemplate
the role of guns in our society.
Cannings earned her Master of Fine
Arts from Syracuse University, New York, and has since exhibited her work
across the United States in museums and institutions including Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX and Tyler Museum
of Art, Tyler, TX. In 2001, she was selected to
represent the West Texas region in the Texas Biennale. Her work has been
featured in print and online publications including New American Paintings and
the Houston Press, and Glasstire.
Corey Pickett received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000 and
his Master of Education in 2008 from Eastern New Mexico University. In 2017 he
is to receive his Master of Fine Arts from the Vermont College of Fine Art.
Pickett has exhibited his work throughout the United States in institutions such
as the National African American Museum and Cultural Center and is a recipient
of the International Sculptural Center’s 2017
Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.